When tuning in to former “Hannah Montana” star Emily Osment’s new ABC Family sitcom “Young & Hungry,” which chronicles the adventures (and pratfalls) of food blogger turned personal chef Gabi Diamond (Osment), one truly can’t help but think, “are you sure this is ABC Family?”
Because “Hungry” — despite its goofy physical humor and gorgeous, House-of-Mouse approved young cast — is decidedly a lot sexier than the network’s other fare, at least in the overt sense. Other shows might hint at sex or even show a suggestive makeout scene after the characters have been officially dating for an acceptable amount of time, but “Young & Hungry” shows Osment having sex with her boss in the very first episode. After just meeting him.
And she ends up locked in his closet after the fact, which quickly makes it clear that sex is not going to be a hot-button, handle-with-gloves issue (if at all) like it is on other young adult shows. But 22-year-old Osment — whose “Montana” audience has aged right along with her — isn’t particularly concerned about the show’s more risque content alienating the network’s core audience.
“It is physical [comedy] and it is a sitcom, but it’s older and it’s sexy and it’s funny, and it’s a different style,” she told MTV News. “It pushes the limits for ABC Family.”
However, Osment adds that any raunchy bits from the show (which is produced by “High School Musical” alum Ashley Tisdale) are put in there for good reason — comedy.
“Whenever our writers write something a little risqué or sexy, it’s never for the effect of it being sexy, it’s always for the effect of it being funny,” she explained. “I think that’s why we can get away with the things that we do; Gabi sleeping with Josh on the first night of work. We get away with that because it’s hilarious, and the way that everything folds out is hysterical.”
That being said, “Young & Hungry” still includes one of the most crucial elements to securing a young adult audience — a potentially doomed love story, between a penny-counting chef and her tycoon boss (played by Jonathan Sadowski), in this case.
“You fall in love with them falling in love,” Osment continued. “It’s so much fun to watch. For the whole season long, you seem them struggling if they should be together or not. ’Is it working, do I like him or do I not like him, I work with him, is this wrong…’ That’s what the audience wants to see. It’s romantic, and everybody loves a good romance story.”
Everybody has also already shown that they love certain elements of “Young & Hungry,” including Osment, Tisdale (who is only behind the camera, for now), director Phill Lewis (who played Mr. Moseby on “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”), and upcoming guest star Jesse McCartney. But Osment thinks that it’s the true-to-life nature of Gabi’s journey, and not her Disney roots, that will attract her fans to the show.
“I’m very excited for this fan base that can hopefully carry over to this and see a real, authentic story about a girl that seems very genuine, and is easy to connect with and easy to relate to,” Osment concluded. “There are so many stories about being in your young 20s and running out of hot water because you forgot to pay your power bill or your electric bill, and just the blunders that this character goes through. I hope that that connects with whatever audience tunes in. I hope it does relate, because we’re writing these stories where I’m like, ’I’ve totally been here, I’ve been in this situation.'”
“Young & Hungry” premieres Wednesday, June 25 at 8PM on ABC Family.